Vintage camellias

fairfield8619(Zone 8 NW LA)March 1, 2012

I've been at it again- looking for old camellias in the run-down part of town. Already rooted from one last year- 4 struck out of about 65 cuttings- enough for me. Now I'm ready to start again. Please look at these and tell me if they are anything special or if you recognize any of them. The neighborhood's heyday is from the 30's 40's 50's so they probably could have been planted all the way into the 60's. Large shrubs that have stood the test of time with no care. The big deep pink one has enormous flowers. Thanks

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Hi, The second could be 'Souvenier de Bahuaud Litou'
which is a sport of 'Mathotiana Alba'. I have it blooming now and I've seen it often in south Louisiana. I could be 'Otome Pink' that I've also seen in several gardens. and, of course, many other possibilities.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 8:52AM
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Dear fairfield8619,
The leaves and flowers of Number Two look like 'Pink Perfection' to me--syn. 'Frau Minna Seidel.' I think 'Otome' may also be a synonym.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 9:44AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

fairfield, any idea why your rooting percentage is so low?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 11:33AM
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fairfield8619(Zone 8 NW LA)

Hey rhizo_1 , don't know exactly why but last year probably wasn't a good year to try to root. We were in terrible drought so virtually no new growth and my equipment was in my hot garage. Temps outside reached 109! Also remember these are uncultivated plants that have no care whatsoever, probably water, fertilizer would have helped. Age of the plant seems to be important too. These are very old plants- seems that younger plants root better they say. I'm going to do it again- really, how many do I need anyway. Four is enough for me, Although that many too up a lot of room. I don't have that much room to plant them, at least not now. I tried different Hormex strengths but really didn't notice any difference. I think I will try liquid this time. Any advice on techniques? I will try most anything if it works. Media was 1/1 coir/perlite. No rot, some just dried up.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 8:56AM
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Excuse me, but how on Earth does the age of the camellia from which you took cuttings have any bearing on whether the cutting roots or not? The camellia literature advises that the best time to root camellia cuttings is after the new growth has hardened in mid- to late summer. I don't see how the age of the donor camellia can have anything to do with one's success, or lack thereof, at rooting camellia cuttings.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 10:43AM
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photo no. 2 looks like 'pink perfection' to me, as well.
just a guess but no. 3 resembles the one i have named 'rose dawn'. there may be many reds of similar form and color.

if anyone reading this post is in my area of east central alabama, the local camellia club chapter is having a show and demonstration (grafting, gibbing, waxing) this saturday, march 10, in loachapoka (auburn area) at the pioneer park.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 3:12PM
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fairfield8619(Zone 8 NW LA)

jay_7bsc, Everything I read on the internet says that trees and shrubs usually root best when the plant is young and in good shape. You might want to do a google search for some info like I have done. Also cuttings from near the top and on the shaded side seem to root the best. Again google is a wonderful tool, check it out.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 9:20AM
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Dear Fairfield8619,
Thanks for your advice, but I've been using Google and other Internet search engines for quite a number of years. What you need to do is look for vigorous, recently hardened twigs on those abandoned camellias regardless of the age of the plants. I hope you've requested permission from their owners before helping yourself to the vegetation.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 10:13AM
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fairfield8619(Zone 8 NW LA)

The lots are owned by the city- the city doesn't care I take whatever I like actually, will continue to do so. They are a liability to the city. They have to cut them and when they get too overgrown then they bush hog them and there goes the camellias. You must live in a progressive area- unlike here. Nobody cares.
Obviously that is what I am doing since that is all the material there is. There is vey little VIGOROUS twigs on any of the camellias since there is no care! Please be real-about an inch of VIGOROUS hardened growth last year, and not much more in previous years. These get NO CARE- very little to work with, almost no new growth to work with.
I through with this.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 11:23AM
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if you want a more robust plant fairfield, air layering works great. larger pieces can be rooted, even finger-sized woody branches. after the new roots have developed at the site of the wound, the new plant can be cut from the parent plant and potted up.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 3:02PM
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fairfield8619(Zone 8 NW LA)

Jeff, the thought occurred to me but don't you have keep checking to see if the medium stays moist? I don't know how that would go over- somebody probably would investigate what I was doing then rip it all up. I usually don't hang around very long. Rough neiborhoods. I have already been approached and asked to make a purchase and it wasn't for camellias! There is one shrub that is in a good place that probably would work. What about the air layer devices I've seen online- ever used them?

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 9:34AM
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I haven't seen the airlayering devices that you speak of, fairfield. What are they and where can I see them?
I don't think the age of the plant makes a difference as I have collected scions from plants over one hundred years old. I think, more often, that it is the health of both the scion and the healthy plant, but this is only my opinion.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 9:41AM
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fairfield8619(Zone 8 NW LA)

florence-2007, They are rooter pots and just a way to make air layering easier. I have never used them but I think I will order some, it sounds intriguing. I've tried the conventional way and never could keep the media moist. These might make it easier. I'd be interested if anyone has used them before.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rooter Pots

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 1:06AM
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Now I know what you're talking about. I have not used the commercial ones as these but did try an ordinary 4" plastic pot cut on the side and taped together but i was not successful. I like the conventional method.
Where are you located? I am in Denham Springs and love to visit old gardens. I'm trying to locate the pre-1900's for a planting at the LSU BUrden Center.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 10:25PM
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